By Julius N. Uma
October 19, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan on Friday announced the formation of the much-awaited national Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (DDRC) Council, which comprises 23 ministries in the country.
- William Deng Deng, DDRC Chairperson (R) flanked by his deputy, Majur Mayor Machar at the press briefing in Juba, October 19, 2012 (ST)
South Sudan’s vice-president, Riek Machar will chair the Council, established through a presidential order on 12 October, with the current DDRC Chairperson earmarked as Secretary to the Council.
William Deng Deng, the Chairperson of the DDRC said the newly formed Council, which is the highest decision making security body, will mobilize and coordinate all 22 ministers and their respective ministries to ensure the highest level of political alignment and support for overall national DDR policy strategic direction.
"The Council will review and approve the national DDR policy documents such as the national DDR provisional order, national DDR policy, national DDR policy strategic plan and the national DDR programme documents," Deng told journalists in Juba, the South Sudan capital.
“It [Council] will also approve terms of references for the national DDR Steering Committee and mechanisms for fund management," he stressed.
The DDR programme, its Chairperson added, is almost done with the pilot phase of profiling ex-combatants. The process, which started in the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region, involves profiling data on what activities ex-combatant are interested in, the settlement details, medical history, among others.
To-date, Deng said, up to 400 names of ex-combatants have now been profiled in the DDR database, out of the 500 targeted in the pilot phase.
Meanwhile, between 13,000 and 14,000 ex-combatant have reportedly been demobilized, while at least 10,000 of them have been re-integrated since the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) established the DDRC.
Deng, however said, the DDR programme under the CPA, implemented in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), officially ends in December this year.